Christ's Lutheran Church in 1828

The church had no official pastor; "the church was supplied more or less" by pastors William J. Eyer and John Crawford, the latter a Methodist minister.(1)

Quoted from Frederick, Rev. Walter, "Historical Address, Woodstock, N.Y., May 3, 1931," itself citing, without attribution, Traver, Charles H., D.D., of West Camp, "History of Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, N.Y., 1806-1906," an earlier source from the centennial, when Reverend Frederick was pastor. (Close) That a Methodist minister could preach at a Lutheran pulpit would not have seemed odd: Rationalists such as our founding pastor, Dr. Frederick Henry Quitman, 68, then retired president of the New York Ministerium (the synod), felt that any ordained clergyman--Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregationalist, and (presumably) Lutheran--could be an interchangeable pastor for any one of those congregations.

Services were held at the first [or the second? see the following footnote] church building of Christ's Church of Woodstock, designated the "Church on the Rocks," because it sat on a rocky ledge overlooking the Sawkill about ¾ mile east of our present location (that is, north [or should it be south?] of present-day Route 212, across from the country club).(2)

From Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976]. In 2006, Mark Anderson learned that the original church building was not up on the ledge and north of Route 212 but was actually south of 212, between the road and the Sawkill. "This is congruent with the reported statement of Allen Nash, who transferred into the church from Rhinebeck in the 1830s when he said that there was an old, unusable church building still standing half-way between the one on the Bonesteel lease (on the ledge) and the mill at the east end of town (present golf clubhouse). Interesting, eh?" Anderson concludes that the "Church on the Rocks" might really be the second church building (north of 212 and on the ledge), which would have been built after the second Wigram survey in 1822 (which shows the original, south of 212, location) and before Nash came in the 1830s. Therefore, at this date, the church the congregation worshipped at, the first church building, would not have been on the ledge north of 212. (Close)

Lewis Edson, Jr. (owner of a sawmill in Mink Hollow that supplied the Shady glass factories nearby) was involved in leading the singing at the church.

[ Revival camp meeting ] During this time, many ordinary American citizens were caught up in the the Second Great Awakening. At religious revivals, preachers would be "inviting" people to come forward to be saved. (To enlarge the picture, just click it.) This practice was started in the Erie Canal region by itinerant preacher Charles Grandison Finney, who understood the Gospel to be a means of societal change as well as personal salvation; such social reforms as the temperance movement, women's suffrage, and abolition were all linked with the evangelism of the Second Great Awakening. Even Lutherans were affected:

Lutherans were not immune, particularly those who used the English Language.… [There were] reported protracted meetings in Lutheran congregations, periods of special interest and emotional excitement in pulpit and pew, and sudden extraordinary growth in church membership. There was much debate as to the proper methods for Lutherans to use in stimulating these revivals. Sharp distinction was drawn between the traditional methods of catechization and the high-pressure appeal to the emotions. One was called "responsible accessions to our congregations," the other was called "the new measures."(3) From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], pp. 45-46, citing Wentz, Abdel Ross, A Basic History of Lutheranism in America [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1955], p. 92. (Close)
In general, pastors and congregations belonging to the New York Ministerium (the synod), including former pastors of our church, were not in favor of revivals. On the other hand, when the pulpit of our church was filled with the Methodist John Crawford, the spirit of revival must have been stirring in Woodstock.

The Woodstock Region in 1828

All over the Catskills, including along our Sawkill, smelly tanneries were converting animal hides into leather, using chips and powder from hemlock bark in the tanning (softening) process and thereby leaving millions of bark-skinned hemlocks to die while standing. New turnpikes were being built to reach the hemlock stands. The largest tanning operation was the New York Tannery in the factory town of Edwardsville (present-day Hunter), autocratically run by Colonel William Edwards, 58. In the atypically neat factory town of Prattsville, workers in the factory of Zadock Pratt lived in some hundred handsome classical-style houses, with pilasters and sunburst gable windows. A 224-foot covered wooden bridge crossed the Schohariekill, and a thousand elms, maples, and hickories lined the streets. Pratt boasted that by getting rid of the hemlocks, he was providing pastureland to the village, so that in time, butter produced by cows grazing there would rival the famous butter from Orange County.

Region historian Alf Evers(4)

Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town [Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987], pp. 23ff, 41, 150ff. (Close) has described the Catskills as largely a region of absentee landlords and struggling tenants, in a manorial relationship more or less transplanted to upstate New York from medieval Europe. The principal landlord for tenant farmers and tavern keepers in the Town of Woodstock, and for all his other Catskills holdings of some 66,000 acres, was Robert L. Livingston, 53, dwelling in his Clermont estate on the other side of the Hudson.

The typical official arrangement under which the tenant held his land was the "three-life lease": A tenant would be permitted use of Livingston land for three generations, and after the grandson of the original tenant died, the lease "fell in"--that is, the land would revert to Livingston. Stipulated in the typical lease was an annual rent of fifteen to twenty bushels of wheat per hundred acres, plus three or four "good fat hens" and from one to three days' work with team on the common land. A tenant could sell his leasehold, but he had to pay the landlord one-sixth of the sale.

[ John Wigram ] Livingston--through his agent John Wigram, pictured here, the town supervisor who resided on Wigram Lane (Rock City Road) near the barn now known as Parnassus Square, and who farmed there with the help of his freedslaves (though technically free, they continued to live and work exactly as they had as slaves)--initiated several legal proceedings against recalcitrant tenants whom he considered scofflaws and trespassers, those who failed to pay rent and who cut the landlord's timber for sale as boards, shingles, and other uses. Livingston "regarded the tenants' own shiftlessness and dishonesty as responsible for most of their troubles."

The life of the tenant on Livingston land was not especially easy. The men worked at subsistence farming, they hunted, they logged, they produced maple sugar, they did part-time blacksmithing, and--with wood harvested from the still-large Woodstock forests (much of it belonging to the Livingston landlord, its harvesting thus constituting trespassing)--they produced charcoal and made such wood products as shingles and barrel and hogshead staves. In the late spring or early summer they peeled hemlock bark used for tanning, piling it in the woods and in the winter hauling it by sledge to smelly tanneries of John C. Ring or of Samuel, Philip A., or John Culver on the Tannery Brook in the heart of Woodstock hamlet. (A few Woodstock tenants were sawmill operators [on sites reserved by the Livingston landlord] or tavern owners.)

Women cooked and baked in fireplaces, washed on the rocks beside a stream, sewed and spun flax and wool, churned butter, gave birth to children and then cared for them, and helped with the farm work, especially at harvest and slaughtering times: They made soap from ashes and animal fats, they dried apples, they pickled and preserved.

Meanwhile, Livingston was having trouble managing the resources on his manor lands. Trees cut down on Livingston land were taken to non-Livingston sawmills, and the sawed boards taken to market with little attempt at concealment. As for the Livingston sawmills, the operators apportioned inferior boards for the landlord's share, selling the better ones for their own profit. Livingston hired people to visit his sawmills weekly to claim decent wood to be sent off to Clermont. Nonetheless, trespassing and unlawful lumbering continued, becoming part of the Woodstock way of life by indigent tenants (termed "beggars" or "rascals" by Livingston agents), in spite of deputy sheriffs being sent to Woodstock to discourage the practice.

Two glass factories in Bristol (Shady), both just over the boundary from Livingston land--the Woodstock Glass Manufacturing Company and the New York Crown and Cylinder Glass Company--continued, with inefficient operation, to produce window glass and bottles, shipping their products down the Glasco Turnpike to the Hudson River landing in Glasco (from "Glass Company") and then by sloop on to New York City. Unfortunately, their operation required vast amounts of fuel, principally wood, which denuded the forests around Woodstock and, as a result of the deforestation, caused massive erosion of the mountainside soil.

Dr. Ebenezer Hall, superintendent of Woodstock Glass Manufacturing Company, practiced medicine, as one of Woodstock's only resident doctors. Another doctor was Dr. Larry Gilbert Hall (no relation), who had much better academic training and a good medical library and who lived in the house later torn down to make room for the present Woodstock Library. Another resident doctor was Dr. John Fiero, 23, who was son-in-law of Dr. Ebenezer Hall. A doctor in those days could pull teeth, bleed a sufferer, and lance a boil, as well as other medical duties. There was no hospital available to Woodstockers, but many women were skilled in nursing and midwifery. There were no drug stores, but the remedies most in demand were available at the general store, including opodeldoc, a soap-based liniment; camphor; spirits of hartshorn; castor oil; gum guaicum; syrup of squills; and opium and its derivatives, such as laudanum.

The Anti-Masonic Party was very popular in Woodstock, and local anti-Mason feeling was organized by Dr. Ebenezer Hall. Richard M. Hasbrouck ran for the Assembly on the Anti-Masonic ticket, and the Ulster Palladium, and Anti-Masonic organ, characterized him as "a substantial and intelligent farmer." After heated newspaper battles waged by Dr. Hall and his adversaries, Hasbrouck lost the election, but the Anti-Masons as a whole narrowly carried Woodstock.

Dr. Jacob Brink of Lake Katrine, known in Woodstock and its environs as a "white witch" and "conjurer," was often called upon to deal with the black magic of reputed witches in the area. The eccentric William Boyse, pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church, documented supposed instances of local witchcraft--people and cows being bewitched, butter prevented from forming in churns, and the like. He reported on Dr. Brink's work, especially in dealing with uncontrolled bleeding.

The apple variety known variously as the Esopus Spitzenberg (New), the Ulster Seedling, the Rickey, the Jonathan, the King Philip, or the Philip Rick, which had originated decades earlier in the Bearsville Flats orchard of Philip Rick, a congregant of Christ's Lutheran Church, was mentioned in print as the "Jonathan" in the New England Farmer. The publicity inspired the planting of scions of the variety as far away as Europe.

Former New Paltz slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, 31, originally of Hurley, continued her efforts to win back her son, Peter, now 8 years old, who had 3 years earlier (when slavery was still legal in New York) been sold in repeated transactions, the last of which by Solomon Gedney to his brother-in-law, an Alabama planter named Fowler, who routinely and savagely beat his slaves. Even while slavery had been legal in New York, selling a slave out of state was illegal, and Gedney was liable to the severe penalty stipulated by law: 14 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 ($16,600 in 2006 dollars). Advised by his lawyer, Gedney had left the previous year for Alabama to retrieve Peter, and only now did he return with him. Gedney was illegally holding on to Peter, however, as his own property. Isabella got a writ to be served on Gedney, forcing him to give bonds of $600 ($9,960) for his appearance at court in Kingston.

Isabella's lawyer, Esquire Chip, informed her that the case had to wait several months for the next session of the court(5):

This quotation and the explications about Isabella's difficulties are from Gilbert, Olive, Narrative of Sojourner Truth (a transcription with commentary of Sojourner's own words), 1850 (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997), pp. 25ff. (Close)
The law must take its course.

What! Wait another court! Wait months? Why, long before that time, he can go clear off, and take my child with him--no one knows where. I cannot wait; I must have him now, whilst he is to be had.

Well, if he puts the boy out of the way, he must pay the $600--one half of which will be yours.

The lawyer was here assuming that the former slave, who had never had a dollar all her own in her entire life, would be glad to receive $300 ($4,980 in 2006 dollars), which would pay for a "heap of children." Isabella, after pleading prayers to God, sought out a different lawyer, Esquire Demain, who told her that for $5 ($83) he would get her son for her in 24 hours. From Quaker friends in Poppletown she collected more than that sum and gave it all to Demain. The next day Gedney appeared with Peter, who had numerous recent scars and who screamed that Isabella was not his real mother. It was quite obvious that Peter was acting this part under duress, for fear of further beatings if he did not; Isabella won custody.

The 59-mile Delaware and Hudson Canal opened between Kingston and Port Jervis on the Delaware River.

The 5-year-old commodious House on the Pine Orchard--also known as the Catskill Mountain House, near Kaaterskill Clove and just a few minutes walk southeast of North Lake and South Lake and affording a dramatic view of the Hudson River and much of the entire region, operated by Catskill attorney James Powers as president of the incorporated Catskill Mountain Association, scorned by locals in the valley below as the "Yankee Palace"--enjoyed another glorious tourist season (with more guests than rooms, the surplus obliged to sleep outside), benefiting from the lower Hudson River steamboat fares from the 1824 Supreme Court decision Gibbons v. Ogden, from the fact that steamboat tourists could see the hotel in the mountains, from romantic descriptions of the region in Washington Irving's 1819 tale of Rip Van Winkle and James Fennimore Cooper's 1823 novel The Pioneers, and from the Hudson River School paintings of famous "romantic realist" landscape painter Thomas Cole, 27, a resident of Catskill village. The literary magazine Atlantic Souvenir lauded the hotel and included a Thomas Doughty sketch of Kaaterskill Falls.

The United States in 1828

[ John Quincy Adams ]

John Quincy Adams (National Republican), 61, was President. The 20th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $16.60 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Indoor lighting for more and more people came from whale-oil lamps and tallow and spermaceti candles.

Housewives preserved food by drying, salting, and smoking. The fireplace or woodstove fire had to be stoked relentlessly, and it invariably extinguished itself during the wee--and coldest--hours of the night. The kitchen in summer was sweltering.

The standard bathtub, for those who believed in bathing at all, was a wooden box lined with copper or zinc, filled with buckets from the stove. With water needing to be heated over the stove, little wonder than irregular bathing was the norm. Many people, convinced that bathing caused colds and other illnesses, bathed their bodies no more than once a year.

Every household had an outdoor privy.

Measles was deadly in those days.(6)

Quoted in Frisch, Karen, "Childhood Diseases in the Victorian Age, Part II: The Victims," featured in "Ancestry Daily News" of Inc. (© Copyright 1998-2002 by Inc. and its subsidiaries). There are also quotes from Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, pp. 342-43. (Close) Caused by a virus, it was characterized by small red spots on the skin, an aversion to light, nasal discharge, coughing, and a high fever.

Yellow fever, also called the black vomit or the miasmas, was spread by mosquitoes. It destroyed the liver and kidneys, its telltale mark being jaundiced skin.

Thousands of Irish immigrants came to the United States.

In New England boot and shoe making

was a winter occupation of farmers and fishermen who, when the harvest was gathered or the vessel hauled out for the winter, formed a "crew" to make shoes in a neighborhood workshop, from stock put out by some local merchant. Every man was master of his own time, and had something to fall back on when demand slackened; there was no clatter of machinery to drown discussion. A boy was often hired to read to the workers. It was said that "Every Lynn shoemaker was fit to be a United States Senator"; and Henry Wilson, "the cordwainer of Natick," became Vice President.(7) Quoted in Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 484. (Close)

New England was referred to as the "land of steady habits."

Female textile workers in Dover, NH, went out on strike, protesting long hours and low wages.

New York Governor DeWitt Clinton died at the age of 59.

The Working Men's Party was founded in New York City.

Washington Square Park was created in New York.

Textile workers in Paterson, NJ, went out on strike for a 10-hour workday. The militia suppressed the strikers.

An archery club was founded in Philadelphia.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton (MD), 90, the "richest American," financed the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to carry both freight and human passengers. There were no plans for a steam locomotive; the cars would be pulled by horses or propelled by sails. The gauge of the rails was a narrow 4 feet 8.5 inches.

Peter Cooper, 37, set up an ironworks in Baltimore, MD, and began to build for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad the first steam locomotive in the United States.

Work began on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, and a race against the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to get across the Alleghenies first was started. President John Quincy Adams broke the ground for the 185-mile canal.

[ Charles Grandison Finney ] [ Revival camp meeting ]

Charles Grandison Finney, 36, pictured here, conducted religious revivals in country settlements in the Northeast and Midwest, urging true Christians to join reform movements. (To enlarge the revival meeting picture, just click it.) Theodore Dwight Weld, 25, a member of Finney's "holy band," was preaching in western New York against the horrors of drinking.

Finney and Weld were part of the "Second Great Awakening."(8)

This paragraph has been adapted with permission from William Strauss and Neil Howe, Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1991). Cited by them is Edward Pessen, Jacksonian America: Society, Personality, and Politics (1985), p. 70. There is also an extensive quote from Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen, op. cit., pp. 336, 348-50. (Close) The movement was triggered by Finney's evangelical preaching and by widespread excitement over religious conversion, social reform, and radical idealism. During this era, reform groups of all types flourished in sometimes bewildering abundance. Reformers promoted rights for women as well as miracle medicines, communal living, polygamy, celibacy, rule by prophets, and guidance by spirits. Societies were formed against alcohol, tobacco, profanity, and the transit of mail on the Sabbath.

Joseph Smith, 23, now of Harmony, PA, had for years been claiming theophany--that is, that he was receiving visits from heavenly messengers, telling him that he was God's Prophet. Smith alleged, for example, that he had been visited by an angel named Moroni, who had showed him the hiding place of gold plates on his family's farm in backwoods New York State (near Palmyra, NY), plates that told of the ancient inhabitants of the western continents. Smith now claimed he had translated some of the "Reformed Egyptian" text from the plates. Smith's benefactor, Martin Harris, 45, took the translation to a few well-known scholars, including classical scholar Charles Anthon, 31, who confirmed that the writings were, in fact, Reformed Egyptian. Harris then acted as scribe while Smith dictated what he said was the translation. In June Smith allowed Harris to take 116 pages of the manuscript to Palmyra to show Harris's wife, Lucy Harris Harris, 36, a skeptic. Smith became despondent, however, when the manuscript was lost at about the time his wife, Emma, 24, gave birth to a stillborn son, their first.

American Shakers began forbidding the use of alcohol at house raisings, husking bees, harvestings, and all other gatherings.

William Ladd of Maine, 50, founded the American Peace Society, dedicated to establishing a "Congress and High court of Nations" to promote principles of international law and to arbitrate disputes between nations.

After her Neshoba emancipation community in Tennessee failed, Frances "Fanny" Wright, 69, joined the New Harmony utopian community of Robert Dale Owen, 59, in Indiana. On Independence Day, she delivered the following speech (probably the first Independence Day oration by a woman) on the meaning of patriotism in America:

… Dating, as we justly may, a new era in the history of man from the Fourth of July, 1776, it would be well--that is, it would be useful--if on each anniversary we examined the progress made by our species in just knowledge and just practice. Each Fourth of July would then stand as a tidemark in the flood of time by which to ascertain the advance of the human intellect, by which to note the rise and fall of each successive error, the discovery of each important truth, the gradual melioration of our public institutions, social arrangements, and, above all, in our moral feelings and mental views.…

In continental Europe, of late years, the words patriotism and patriot have been used in a more enlarged sense than it is usual here to attribute to them, or than is attached to them in Great Britain. Since the political struggles of France, Italy, Spain, and Greece, the word patriotism has been employed, throughout continental Europe, to express a love of the public good, a preference for the interests of the many to those of the few, a desire for the emancipation of the human race from the thrall of despotism, religious and civil: in short, patriotism there is used rather to express the interest felt in the human race in general than that felt for any country, or inhabitants of a country, in particular. And patriot, in like manner, is employed to signify a lover of human liberty and human improvement rather than a mere lover of the country in which he lives, or the tribe to which he belongs. Used in this sense, patriotism is a virtue, and a patriot a virtuous man. With such an interpretation, a patriot is a useful member of society, capable of enlarging all minds and bettering all hearts with which he comes in contact; a useful member of the human family, capable of establishing fundamental principles and of merging his own interests, those of his associates, and those of his nation in the interests of the human race. Laurels and statues are vain things, as mischievous as they are childish; but could we imagine them of use, on such a patriot alone could they be with any reason bestowed.…

If such a patriotism as we have last considered should seem likely to obtain in any country, it should be certainly in this. In this which is truly the home of all nations and in the veins of whose citizens flows the blood of every people of the globe. Patriotism, in the exclusive meaning, is surely not made for America. Mischievous everywhere, it were here both mischievous and absurd. The very origin of the people is opposed to it. The institutions, in their principle, militate against it. The day we are celebrating protests against it. It is for Americans, more especially, to nourish a nobler sentiment; one more consistent with their origin, and more conducive to their future improvement. It is for them more especially to know why they love their country; and to feel that they love it, not because it is their country, but because it is the palladium of human liberty--the favored scene of human improvement. It is for them, more especially, to examine their institutions, because they have the means of improving them, to examine their laws, because at will they can alter them. It is for them to lay aside luxury whose wealth is in industry; idle parade whose strength is in knowledge; ambitious distinctions whose principle is equality. It is for them not to rest, satisfied with words, who can seize upon things; and to remember that equality means, not the mere equality of political rights, however valuable, but equality of instruction and equality in virtue; and that liberty means, not the mere voting at elections, but the free and fearless exercise of the mental faculties and that self-possession which springs out of well-reasoned opinions and consistent practice. It is for them to honor principles rather than men--to commemorate events rather than days; when they rejoice, to know for what they rejoice, and to rejoice only for what has brought and what brings peace and happiness to men. The event we commemorate this day has procured much of both, and shall procure in the onward course of human improvement more than we can now conceive of. For this--for the good obtained and yet in store for our race--let us rejoice! But let us rejoice as men, not as children--as human beings rather than as Americans--as reasoning beings, not as ignorants. So shall we rejoice to good purpose and in good feeling; so shall we improve the victory once on this day achieved, until all mankind hold with us the Jubilee of Independence.(9)

Quoted in Ravitch, Diane, The American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990, pp. 49-51. (Close)
Owen in disappointment officially dissolved the New Harmony community, which had been based on principles of reason rather than religion and devoted to bettering the human condition through socialism and free education, because most of the 1,000 residents were idealists unprepared to deal with such practical necessities as running a factory or a farm.

Hicksite Quaker preacher Lucretia Coffin Mott, 35, continued delivering sermons against slavery.

Baltimore (formerly of Ohio and Tennessee) Quaker Benjamin Lundy, 39, continued to publish his abolitionist newspaper Genius of Universal Emancipation.

Slaves, meanwhile, devised countless ways to undermine the "peculiar institution" of slavery.(10)

The material in this paragraph has been quoted from Schwartz, Marie Jenkins., Born in Bondage: Growing Up Enslaved in the Antebellum South, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000, pp. 1 ff. (Close) When workers are not voluntarily hired and adequately compensated, they can hardly be expected to work with alacrity. Accordingly, slaves often slowed the pace of their labor to the barest minimum that would spare them the lash, thus fostering the myth of black "laziness" in the minds of whites. They filched food from the "big house" and pilfered other goods that had been produced or purchased by their labor. They sabotaged expensive equipment, stopping the work routine altogether until repairs were accomplished. Occasionally, they even poisoned their master's food.

There was intense resistance to free blacks in Southern states, and many would not allow a free black to remain, threatening enslavement if one stayed. According to William Blackford, free blacks were anathema, their

very virtues became objects of suspicion, and the instinct of [white] self-preservation would nip in the bud the first development of superior intellect.(11) Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 506. (Close)

[ Senator Daniel Webster ] [ Henry Clay of Kentucky ]

The 20th Congress, led by the House Committee on Manufactures and encouraged by Congressman Daniel Webster, 46, of Massachusetts (repudiating his earlier antitariff stands and speaking for New England manufacturing interests), pictured at left, and Secretary of State Henry Clay, 51 (speaking for Western hemp and wool farmers), pictured at right, passed the protectionist "Tariff of Abominations," which raised duties on imports--especially raw wool, hemp, flax, fur, and liquor--up as high as 45 percent. It was the highest tariff in the nation's history; it was actually a political maneuver that backfired. Supporters of Andrew Jackson, 61, from Tennessee, including the cunning Martin Van Buren of New York ("Little Van"), 48, had framed the measure to discredit the Adams Administration (and thus help Jackson win the Presidency). They made the tariff so high that it supposedly would never stand a chance of getting through Congress. They reasoned that Northern Congressmen would object to the excessive duties on raw materials for their industries; their votes combined with the assuredly anti-tariff Southerners would defeat the tariff. Jackson would be able to win support in the North for having favored the tariff in principle and win support in the South for having defeated it. But since the tariff protected the woolen industry in some Northern districts, enough Northerners voted for the measure that it passed and was enacted, to the horror of the Jackson supporters. As Senator Webster said,

Its enemies spiced it with whatever they thought would help render it distasteful; its friends took it, drugged as it was.(12) Quoted in ibid., p. 431. (Close)

Just two months after the passage of this tariff, William Huskisson stated in front of the British House of Commons that the United Kingdom would have to get its cotton from somewhere other than the American South. He admitted later that he looked forward to the secession of the Southern States from the Union. His speech probably had more readers in South Carolina than in the United Kingdom. Senator George McDuffie of South Carolina came up with the "40-bale theory": The tariff decreased British purchasing power for American cotton and augmented the price of consumer goods the South had to pay to the extent that 40 out of every 100 bales of cotton were, in effect, stolen by Northern manufacturers.

The Presidential campaign of 1828

[ Andrew Jackson ] The newly organized Democratic Party, claiming adherence to the true Jeffersonian principles of the original Democratic-Republican Party, nominated Jackson (pictured) for President. The National Republicans (the more conservative, or Federalist, wing of the monopolistic Democratic-Republican Party) renominated President Adams for a second term.

The campaign was bitter and stinkingly ugly. Many Jackson supporters, led by James Buchanan, 37, of Pennsylvania, continued to bring up the "corrupt bargain" of 1825, how the Presidency had been stolen from Jackson by a deal Adams had made with Clay. They castigated President Adams's motives for promoting the 1826 Panama Congress. They also attacked Adams as an aristocrat. Westerners were uncomfortable with President Adams's intentions to administer public lands on business principles rather than squander them on squatters, and Southerners felt that Jackson would be more sympathetic to states' rights. After Adams furnished the White House with a billiard table and a chess set at his own expense, Jackson men railed against "gaming tables and gambling furniture" purchased with public money. Some Jackson supporters said that Adams had played the pimp to the Russian Tsar when he had been Ambassador there a decade and a half before, supposedly supplying a beautiful American virgin for the Tsar's delectation.

Adams supporters, on their part, sneered at Jackson as a "military chieftain" who would become another Napoleon if elected. They called him a drunkard, a gambler, and a wrangler. They also brought up the alleged premarital relations of Andrew and Rachel Jackson, who had been, unknowingly, not yet legally divorced from her first husband, Lewis Robards, for the first two years of her marriage to Jackson, besmirching her reputation to the outrage of her husband:

Ought a convicted adulteress and her paramour husband be placed in the highest offices of this free and Christian land?
asked a pro-Adams pamphleteer. Jackson was convinced that Secretary of State Clay was behind this slander, as he wrote to his protégé Sam Houston, 35, Governor of Tennessee:
I have lately got an intimation of some of [Clay's] secrete movements which if I can reach with possitive and responsible proof I will wield to his political and perhaps to his actual destruction. he is certainly the bases[t], meanest scoundrel that ever disgraced the image of his god.… Even the aged and virtuous female is not free from his… slander--but enough, you know me.
Houston, knowing Jackson quite well, persuaded him with difficulty not to challenge Clay to a duel, warning him that his political future would be over.(13) Quoted in Wellman, Paul I., The House Divides: The Age of Jackson and Lincoln, from the War of 1812 to the Civil War, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1966, p. 78. (Close) Senator John Henry Eaton of Tennessee, 38, Jackson's friend, demanded an explanation from Clay, who denied any knowledge of the rumors. Eaton doubted Clay's sincerity.

An East Tennessee enemy of Jackson published a handbill, stating that Jackson had

spent the prime of his life in gambling, in cock-fighting, in horse-racing… and to cap all tore from a husband the wife of his bosom.… [Any vote for Jackson would be a vote to sanction a code whereby if a man should fancy his neighbor's] pretty wife… he had nothing to do but take a pistol in one hand and a horse whip in the other and… possess… her.
All the problems of Rachel Jackson's questionable divorce were aired in public. The official mouthpiece of the Adams Administration, the National Journal, printed the entire scandal. Jackson, barely controlling himself, wrote to his friend John Coffee:
How hard it is to keep the cowhide from these villains.(14) Quoted in ibid., pp. 78-79. (Close)

Jackson's enemies also brought out the celebrated "Coffin Handbill," containing crude pictures of 18 coffins to represent the 10 [?] people that Jackson had supposedly killed or caused to be killed (executed) in his military campaigns or duels. Jackson's association with Aaron Burr was cited and scrutinized (until it was discovered that Henry Clay had been Burr's attorney in his treason trial). Charles Hammond wrote in his Gazette that

General Jackson's mother was a Common Prostitute, brought to this country by the British soldiers! She afterwards married a MULATTO man with whom she had several children, of which number GENERAL JACKSON is one. The father sold an older offspring of that union into slavery.(15) Quoted in ibid., p. 80; Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen, op. cit., p. 264. (Close)
The press had overreached itself, and many became sympathetic with Jackson.

Duff Green in Washington published a fabrication that President Adams had had premarital relations with his wife. He sent a copy of his paper to Jackson with a note:

Let Mrs. Jackson rejoice, her vindication is complete.
Jackson rebuked Green immediately:
I never war against females and it is only the base and cowardly that do.
Meanwhile, Rachel Jackson suffered in shame, and she confided in a friend:
The enemies of the General have dipt their arrows in wormwood and gall and sped them at me. They have Disquieted one that they had no rite to do.(16) Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., p. 79. (Close)

Senator Thomas Hart Benton, 46, of Missouri, urged his friend Jackson not to take a stand on any issue of importance so as not to alienate any group of voters. Jackson's friend, Amos Kendall, 39, helped win support for Jackson in Kentucky.

Weeks after Election Day, it was determined that Jackson had won 56 percent of the popular vote (647,231 versus 509,097) and had gathered 178 electoral votes against 83 for President Adams. John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina, 46, had been reelected Vice President (he had run with Jackson), defeating, on the Adams ticket, Secretary of the Treasury Richard Rush, 48. An Adams supporter wailed that Jackson had been swept into office by "the howl of raving Democracy."

The 21st Congress was also elected, to begin serving the following year.

Navy purser Lieutenant John B. Timberlake, who had often been off to sea, died, leaving his wife, Margaret (Peggy) O'Neale Timberlake, 32, a widow, who was now free to marry her lover, Senator Eaton. President-Elect Jackson encouraged them to get married (even though everyone else in power was trying to discourage it), to dispel the vicious gossip about them.

[ John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina ] Vice President Calhoun (pictured), who, as President of the Senate, had watched the wrangling over the Tariff of Abominations, warned President-Elect Jackson that relief from this tariff must soon be provided or the Union would fall apart. He then secretly and anonymously drafted South Carolina Exposition and Protest, calling the tariff

unconstitutional, unequal, and oppressive; and calculated to corrupt public virtue and destroy the liberty of the country.(17) Quoted in ibid., p. 107. (Close)
He repudiated his previous nationalistic record and set forth the theory that states had the right to nullify within their borders acts of Congress any federal legislation that their state conventions found to be unconstitutional. He also asserted that the Union could be dissolved if other states followed this course. The South Carolina legislature, after printing and disseminating Calhoun's draft, declared the Tariff of Abominations oppressive and unconstitutional. One eloquent South Carolinian cried:
Let the New England beware how she imitates the Old.
Legislatures in Georgia, Mississippi, and Virginia joined in the protests.

Rachel Jackson did not recover from all the unpleasant attention she had received in the campaign. When she heard the results of the Election, she said:

For Mr. Jackson's sake I am glad. For my own part I never wished it.
To another friend she said:
I assure you I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than live in that palace at Washington.
In the winter she suffered an attack of coronary thrombosis and died just before Christmas. Andrew Jackson, grieving, wailed at her interment:
I know it is unmanly, but these tears are due to her virtues.… She has shed so many for me. In the presence of this dear saint I can, and do, forgive all my enemies. But those vile wretches who have slandered her must look to God for mercy!(18) Quoted in ibid., pp. 81-82. (Close)

Because steamboats had reduced freight costs, the price of coffee in Cincinnati was only 2.6 cents per pound [43 cents a pound in 2006 dollars] more than it was in New Orleans.

John Chapman, 53, known as "Johnny Appleseed," continued distributing Swedenborgian religious tracts and apple seeds to settlers in the Ohio Valley. A small, wiry man with "eyes that sparkled with a peculiar brightness," he had a reputation for loving children and all living creatures, even mosquitoes. He made friends with all the Indians he encountered. He traveled barefoot, dressed in cast-offs or a coffee sack. He liked to read to settlers from the New Testament, calling it "news right fresh from heaven."

Charleston, SC, chartered a railroad to run to the city of Hamburg, SC, 136 miles away.

[ Sequoya ] Cherokee Indian Sequoya ("George Guess"), 62, pictured here, used his 85-letter alphabet of the Cherokee language (developed in 1821) to publish the Cherokee Phoenix, edited by Elias Budinot, a full-blooded Cherokee.

Georgia declared the Cherokee National Council illegal and insisted on the right to make laws for the Cherokee Nation, which was within its borders. The Cherokees challenged this notion in court, pointing to their treaties with the federal government protecting their sovereignty.

There had been three voluntary migrations of Cherokee groups westward into the Arkansas forests, but these "West Cherokee" migrants had been harried by the surrounding white settlers and so had been pushed further west into dry, barren land. The federal government announced in a treaty that the new territory (present-day Oklahoma) was to be

a permanent home… which shall under the most solemn guarantee of the United States be and remain theirs forever.(19) Quoted from Zinn, Howard, A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980, 1995, 1999; Perennial, 2003, p. 136. (Close)

Science and technology in America: Specifics

New York physicist Joseph Henry, 31, invented the electromagnet; and engineers Charles Danforth and John Thorp invented (independently) the cap and ring spinning machine.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, 24, published Fanshawe; novelist James Fenimore Cooper, 39, published The Red Rover; author Washington Irving, 45, published History of the Life and Voyage of Christopher Columbus; and lexicographer Noah Webster, 75, published (after 28 years of work) American Dictionary of the English Language, defining 70,000 words, introducing such Americanisms as applesauce, skunk, and revolutionary, and establishing American (in contrast to British) spelling (for example, color and plow rather than colour and plough). Artist Gilbert Stuart died at the age of 73.

The Roman emperor look continued to be fashionable for men.

Sarah Hale, 40, was given the opportunity by Reverend John L. Blake, 40, to edit a monthly women's periodical, the Ladies' Magazine, in Boston. Other popular periodicals included the Niles' Weekly Register, the American Journal of Science, American Farmer, Christian Watchman, Saturday Evening Post, the New York Mirror, and National Preacher. Aristotle's Masterpiece, an anonymous sex education book, illustrated with explicit woodcuts and describing sexual mechanics, was popular among young men, who read it behind the barn.

Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice, 20, introduced the song "Jim Crow" between play acts, an international song hit. Other popular songs included "Home Sweet Home" and "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."

The World at Large in 1828

Sir John Franklin, 42, published an account of his Arctic explorations.

French Canadian politicians in the Assembly of Lower Canada (Québec) made vehement speeches and refused to vote money for the salaries of royal judges and British-appointed officials. In Upper Canada (Ontario) newly arrived settlers struggled for political equality with the Loyalists (those who had left the United States after the Revolution) and their descendants. Liberals wanted to make the executive responsible to the Assembly and threatened to secede from the British Empire.

The United States and the United Kingdom extended indefinitely their 1818 agreement for joint occupancy of the Oregon country.

Jedediah Strong Smith, 28, continued northward out of Mexican Alta California into the Oregon country, administered by the Hudson's Bay Company. Along the Umpqua River they disciplined a Kelawatset Indian chief for stealing an axe. Kelawatset tribesmen killed all but Smith and 3 of his company. These survivors made it on foot to Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, where they were welcomed by the Hudson's Bay Company administrator, Dr. John McLoughlin.

Mexican revolt

Guadalupe Victoria had been serving as President of Mexico amid incessant troubles between the conservative clergy and liberals, troubles fomented largely by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, 34, to destabilize the government. Now Gómez Pedraza was elected President, but his opponent, Vicente Guerrero, 45, staged a revolt, with Santa Anna as his general. Pedraza's forces defeated Santa Anna, but Guerrero fought his way into the capital and forced Pedraza to flee into exile.

The grant of land on the Rio Brazos in Texas to Stephen Fuller Austin, 35, flourished, and the number of colonists reached 8,000. Austin had been ruling them with nearly dictatorial powers, but now a constitutional government was organized. Other empresarios had flocked in to claim land--including swashbucklers Robert Leftwich, Hayden Edwards, Green De Witt, Ben Milam, James Powers, and David G. Burnet (formerly of Ohio, who had been a soldier of fortune 22 years earlier in a failed Venezuelan revolution). Most of the new settlers were hard-working, honest, capable, self-sufficient, and law-abiding--as required by the required certification of "good character"--but some were shady characters of dubious history. The expression "G.T.T." ("Gone to Texas") was a byword for outlaws fleeing justice in the United States. The certification also required the newcomers to become Roman Catholic, but many of the newcomers found ways to flout that rule.

Argentina-Brazil war

Through the British-mediated Treaty of Rio de Janeiro, Uruguay was established as a buffer state between hostile neighbors Argentina and Brazil.

The British government had mixed feelings about its previous year's victory over the Ottoman forces in Greece, fearing that a stronger Russia in the Balkans would upset the precious balance of power in the region. The controversy unraveled the weak coalition government of Frederick John Robinson, Viscount Goderich. A new, strongly reactionary Tory government was formed, with Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, 59, as Prime Minister and Robert Peel, 40, as Home Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons.

Wellington introduced a new Corn Law to relieve consumers of the high food prices. Duties on a sliding scale were based on domestic prices, but prices were still too low to permit grain imports.

English reformer Henry Peter Brougham, 50, delivered a 6-hour speech in the British House of Commons, the longest ever recorded. In the speech he proclaimed: "Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave." He then helped to found London University.

The British Test and Corporation Acts were repealed, enabling Nonconformists (non-Anglican Protestants) to hold public office.

Irish Catholics under Daniel O'Connell, 53, were agitating vehemently for "Catholic Emancipation" (their ability to hold public office). In a by-election he was supported by the Catholic Association and was elected to replace the Protestant landowner Vesey Fitzgerald to a Ministerial post, but, as a Catholic, he was debarred by existing legislation from taking a seat in Parliament. In this test case, if the government refused to enfranchise the Catholics, there would be a revolution in Ireland, and political disaster in England. Wellington put the issue before King George:

The influence and powers of government in [Ireland] are no longer in the hands of the officers of the Government, but have been usurped by the demagogues of the Roman Catholic Association, who, acting through the influence of the Roman Catholic clergy, direct the country as they think proper.… We have a rebellion impending over us in Ireland,… and we in England a Parliament which we cannot dissolve, the majority of which is of opinion… that the remedy is to be found in Roman Catholic Emancipation, and they would unwillingly enter into the contest without making such an endeavor to pacify the country.
The Irish Protestants were alarmed that if the Catholics did not get the vote, the Protestants would lose their estates in a revolution. One of the English Opposition stated:
I know from the most unquestionable authority that very many of the Orange Protestants in Ireland are now so entirely alarmed at their own position that they express in the most unqualified terms their earnest desire for any settlement of the question at issue on any terms.
Wellington told the conservative House of Lords, who were resistant to emancipation:
I am one of those who have probably passed a longer period of my life engaged in war than most men, and principally in civil war; and I must say this, that if I could avoid by any sacrifice whatever even one month of civil war… I would sacrifice my life in order to do it.
The old-fashioned Tories and the King were finally persuaded, preparing for the enactment of Catholic emancipation the next year.(20)

Quoted in Churchill, Winston S., The Great Democracies, vol. 4 of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1957, pp. 36-39. (Close)

The London weekly Athenaeum began publication. So did the London weekly Spectator.

Thomas Arnold, 33, was appointed headmaster of Rugby School.

Dutch chocolate maker Conrad J. Van Houten patented a method for separating fat from roasted cacao beans, enabling the manufacture of chocolate candy, on the one hand, and cocoa butter, on the other hand.

German publisher Karl Baedeker, 27, published The Rhine from Mainz to Cologne.

The Nürnberg police detained foundling Kaspar Hauser, 16, who became rumored to be of noble birth, possibly the Prince of Baden. Professor Georg Friedrich Daumer, 28, assumed custody of Hauser.

Grand Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar, a friend of Goethe, died at the age of 71.

The despotic King Francesco I of the Two Sicilies (Sicily and Naples), 50, left the government to his court favorites and the police, while he lived with his mistress, surrounded by soldiers to protect him from assassination.

Portuguese civil war

Queen Maria II of Portugal, 9, was deposed, and her regent (and fiancé and uncle) Dom Miguel, 30, was proclaimed King. Maria was whisked away to England by her protectors. The civil war began.

Greek War of Independence, enlarged to include Russia against the Ottoman Empire

Greek politician and patriot Alexander Ypsilanti died at the age of 36. Russia officially declared war on the Ottoman Empire. Russian forces crossed the Danube and captured Varna. Mehmet Ali agreed to the British demand to remove his Egyptian forces from Greece.

Russia-Persia war

In the Treaty of Turkmanchai, Persia was forced to cede Erivan and Nakhchivan in the Transcaucasus and to pay a huge indemnity. Russia obtained exclusive rights to operate a navy on the Caspian Sea.

The cholera epidemic spreading from India reached from central Asia into Russia.

Ashanti War

Ashantis and Fantis continued their hostilities, with one side blowing war horns and the other side playing "God Save the King."

King Radama I of Madagascar died and was succeeded by Queen Ranavaloana I, who resolved to stem the French and British influence there and to suppress missionary efforts.

Zulu King Shaka, 41. was assassinated in South Africa.

Javanese conflict

The Javanese continued their revolt against Dutch control.

There were 15,000 convicts and 21,000 free settlers in Australia.

World science and technology

Samuel Jones of London patented the "Promethean match," a glass bead containing acid; and Scots inventor James Beaumont Neilson, 26, devised a blast furnace to improve iron manufacture.

Scots scientist Robert Brown, 55, proposed the concept of Brownian movement; German chemist Friedrich Wöhler, 28, synthesized urea (NH2CONH2), thus beginning the science of organic chemistry; Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, 49, discovered the element thorium; Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, 26, began the study of elliptical functions; and German physician Johann Lukas Schönlein, 35, described the disease hemophilia. English scientist William Hyde Wollaston died at the age of 62.

German physician Franz Josef Gall, the founder of phrenology, died at the age of 70.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

Novelist Edward George Bulwer Lytton, 25, published Pelham; Scots poet Sir Walter Scott, 57, published Tales of a Grandfather and The Fair Maid of Perth; Sir William F. Napier began his History of the War in the Peninsula; and author and critic Leigh Hunt, 44, lashed out bitterly in his Lord Byron and Some of his Contemporaries. Scots philosopher Dugald Stewart died at the age of 75, and romantic painter Richard P. Bonington died at the age of 26.

World arts and culture

French artist Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, 30, created the 19 Faust lithographs; French novelist Alexandre Dumas père, 26, published Les Trois Mousquetaires ("The Three Musketeers"); German scholar K. O. Müller, 31, published his treatise on Etruscan antiquities; German composer Heinrich Marschner, 33, produced Der Vampire; Italian composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, 36, produced the opera Le Comte Ory ("Count Ory"); and French composer Daniel François Esprit Auber, 46, collaborated with librettist Augustin Eugène Scribe, 37, to produce the opera The Mute Girl of Portici. Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert died at the age of 31 (leaving his Symphony in B major unfinished), French painter Jean Antoine Houdon died at age 87, and Spanish painter Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes died at the age of 82.


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